Thursday, February 2, 2012
Mindfulness, Mindfulness.... Where has mindfulness gone?
Mindfulness mindfulness mindfulness. Mindfulness for this, mindfulness for that. Everywhere you
turn you see or hear about mindfulness.
For example, mindfulness to become a better parent, mindfulness to become a better doctor, mindfulness to become a better lawyer, mindfulness in order to be a better student, mindfulness in order to get rid of headaches, and can you believe it mindfulness even mindfulness overcome shyness.
Yes even me! In trying to work with my publisher on an acceptable title for my book I was repeatedly told that the title must PROMISE something to the reader, something they want. I lost that battle. In the subtitle of my book it reads: "…to overcome fear and embrace compassion." This is a promise, I don't even believe.
The true mindful practice doesn't help you overcome anything. It just helps you face things better.
Like everything else that gets exploited mindfulness is now neatly package for your consumptive desires.
Its right up there on the shelf with shoes, lawn mowers, vacation packages, breakfast cereals, eyeliners, and the best diet
Everybody is touting and selling mindfulness. Step right up and get yours.
Okay let's restore some sanity here.
If you do mindfulness for some outcome you're not doing mindfulness. I'm not sure what you're doing and it may be beneficial but it is not mindfulness.
You see, the real practice all mindfulness has no outcome. You don't do mindfulness to get anywhere or achieve anything.
So why practice mindfulness?
All the great teachers (Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, Toltec, Muslim, Native Peoples) have taught one thing:
The only reason to practice mindfulness is this: to wake up!!!!
To wake up!
The more you peel back the layers of self deception and see things clearly as they truly are, in other words the more wake you become, the more you are able to live your life from an open compassionate heart, and a balanced calm mind. The benefits of this spontaneously move in all directions throughout all space and time.
Geez, Neuropsychology (Richard Davidson at UW-Madison and others) has even shown that those who simply practice mindfulness meditation (i.e. the Dalai Lama) show profound changes in the structures of their brain!
So stop all this nonsense of trying to practice mindfulness for any particular outcome.
Practice this enduring skill for its own sake, and everything else will take care of itself.
The simple yet profound practice of mindful meditation, whether on a cushion or in a chair, or in a grocery line, or talking with another, just keeps you in an open, balanced, and compassionate place that just makes this a better world.
Oh, yea, from now on I am going to avoid using the word "mindfulness." It has become so overused that we just don't know any more what we are talking about. I am not sure what I will use in its place: Presence, or Deeply wakeful…….
Until the next series of moments arrive.